Parks Committee also discusses financing of facility
BY KEVIN BONESKE
About a month remains before the Pioneer Park Historical Complex (PPHC) opens for the season on Memorial Day weekend with no one as facility’s paid coordinator after Aprelle Rawski resigned from the position.
In the event the position isn’t filled with an individual currently associated with the PPHC, which stays open until Labor Day weekend, Rhinelander’s Parks, Buildings and Grounds Committee agreed Monday to go ahead and advertise the paid position with the hourly salary set at $12, an increase of $2 an hour, for being on the job six days a week for seven hours a day.
“We may have someone, who’s part of that entity now, who may be willing to pick up those duties, and we’re kind of in a flux,” said Parks Committee chairperson Sherrie Belliveau, who also noted the advertisement could be forwarded to the full City Council for possible consideration at its May 8 meeting if it would be necessary to post the position.
The Parks Committee, which met on the afternoon after the PPHC Advisory Committee met that morning, also discussed the future of the historical complex as it relates to finances.
“There was some talk about charging for groups,” Belliveau said. “There was also some talk about starting to do some fund-raising, like they did in the past with pancake breakfasts.
“We’re all aware about the amount of work that needs to be done there, and money of course is a concern…. You know, what has to be done to keep it structurally safe and keep the artifacts protected, what can we do this year, next year and the year after. Big bucks, you know, if we could maybe apply for some grant money, or if we’re going to have to start looking at the borrowing process, borrowing money and trying to get some of that stuff upgraded.”
Parks Committee member Dawn Rog questioned what volunteers and paid staff have been doing at the PPHC.
“Last summer a very good friend of mine spent a lot of time there,” Rog said. “She put in a lot of hours there, and there’s a lot of frustration about things that could be done by people that are actually getting paid to be there.”
Belliveau said there are only five positions at the PPHC with a total of 15 people involved with the facility. She also noted the PPHC Advisory Committee favored reducing the hours the facility is open on Sunday.
Given Rawski’s departure and new leadership taking over at the PPHC, Parks Committee member Alex Young suggested having the advisory committee meet again in about a month when what will happen with the lead coordinator position and how it will be run is sorted out.
“In the past we’ve let them deal with the scheduling and all those things,” Young said. “We need to make sure we have a handle on that for budget purposes, so that we’re not in a situation where if one person leaves we have no idea how it’s organized.”
Parks Committee members also agreed to advertise for volunteers at PPHC who wouldn’t be getting paid. Belliveau noted the money to advertise would come out of the PPHC account, which has $17,000 in it.